We're planning changes on and around High Street (Cashel Street to St Asaph Street) to support people's use and enjoyment of this key diagonal route in our central city.

Project status: Decision made
Open for feedback: 14th May 2019 - 10th June 2019
14 May 2019

Final Council decision - 24 September 2019

That the Council:

1. Approves the scheme design of the network transformation project for:

a. Option 1 for the mid and northern blocks of High Street including the intersection upgrade with Tuam Street, as detailed in Attachment A;

b. Option 1B for the southern block of High Street as detailed in Attachment B. Note that staff, as part of the 2021-31 Long Term Plan, programme the upgrade of the southern block of High Street to align with the construction of the Multi-Use Arena.

c. The extension of the tram route from the High Street / Lichfield Street intersection as detailed in Attachment A. d. Note that staff will look to provide two additional car parks in the middle block, one in the vicinity of 209 High Street and one in the vicinity of 191 High Street, and report back through detailed design. e. Request that staff replace the proposed loading zone in the middle block with two car parks, and investigate the provision of a loading zone on Lichfield Street immediately east of Manchester Street. This will be reported to the Parking Restrictions Sub-Committee.

2. Requests staff conduct further engagement on the scheme design for the southern block of High Street between Tuam and St Asaph Streets and report back to the appropriate Committee.

3. Resolves that the detailed traffic resolutions required for the implementation of the project are brought back to the Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee, or appropriate delegated committee for approval at the end of the detailed design phase, prior to the beginning of construction.

4. Notes that staff will investigate during the detailed design phase:

a. A Barnes dance crossing at the Lichfield Street/Manchester Street/High Street intersection.

b. The interaction between cyclists and cars at the High Street /St Asaph Street/Madras Street intersection.

c. Stop signs instead of give ways at the High Street/Tuam Street intersection.

Councillor East/Mayor Carried

Councillor Davidson requested that his vote against resolution 2 be recorded. Councillor Johanson requested that his vote against all of the resolutions be recorded.

Hearings Panel Report [PDF, 6.4 MB]

 

Hearings Panel recommendations - Update: 19 August 2019

The Hearings Panel met on Thursday 15 August 2019 to consider public submissions on a proposal to revitalise High Street from Cashel to St Asaph streets, and extend the tram.

The Panel will recommend that Christchurch City Council proceed with an extension of the city’s tram route and an upgrade of the two blocks of High Street between Cashel and Tuam streets.

However, after listening to concerns raised by businesses and property owners in the block of High Street between Tuam and St Asaph streets, the Hearings Panel has decided not to support the upgrade of that section of the road. Instead it will recommend the Council conduct further engagement on the scheme design for that southern block.

The work proposed is aimed at repairing the earthquake damage to High Street and making the street – one of the most treasured heritage streets in Christchurch’s city centre – more attractive and people-friendly.

High Street revitalisation and tram extension - Update: 8 August 2019

A Hearings Panel will meet on Thursday 15 August 2019 to consider the proposed High Street revitalisation and tram extension.
The City Council consulted on the proposed revitalisation of High Street and tram extension from 14 May to 10 June 2019. Of the 78 responses received from individuals and organisations on the High Street revitalisation project:

  • 40 indicated that they supported or generally supported the proposals.
  • 44 indicated they did not support the plan or had concerns. Twenty three submitters, including nine who supported or generally supported the proposals, commented that there should be less emphasis on cars and on-street parking in the plans. Another 25 said more parking was needed to support local businesses. (An alternative plan was provided by 19 submitters for the southern block from Tuam Street to St Asaph Street.)
  • 6 did not indicate their view of the overall revitalisation plan.

Of the 62 responses received on the tram extension

  • 50 supported the extension.

For further details you can view the following documents:

High Street revitalisation and tram extension consultation report [PDF, 39 KB]

Option 1 - Preferred plan for approval [PDF, 3 MB]

Option 1A – Full revitalisation plan but additional parking in the southern block [PDF, 2.3 MB]

Option 1B - Plan to do minimum in southern block of High Street [PDF, 909 KB]

Option 2 – Tram extension and asset repairs [PDF, 1.1 MB]

High Street revitalisation submissions and project team responses [PDF, 1.1 MB]

High Street tram extension submissions and project team responses [PDF, 147 KB]

The formal Hearings Panel agenda and staff report will be available online from Friday 9 August 2019 at christchurch.infocouncil.biz(external link)

 

Background

High Street revitalisation and tram extension

View of the Tuam St and High St intersection showing the proposed tram extension

View of the Tuam St and High St intersection showing the proposed tram extension

Key features

  • Enhanced streetscape along this historic diagonal route to make it a more attractive place to visit and do business.
  • Widened footpaths where possible to cater for increased foot traffic to the proposed multi-use arena, Ara Institute and new businesses.
  • Safe cycle link between the major cycleway on St Asaph Street and Tuam Street, and the Heathcote Expressway on Ferry Road.
  • Accessible for all travellers.
  • Parking - P60 spaces, loading zones, mobility parks, motorcycle parks, and cycle parks – for shoppers and other users.
  • Simplified intersection at Tuam/High streets means that the number of signal poles can be reduced from 19 to six.
  • 10 km/h speed limit in all three blocks.
  • Tram route extended along Lichfield Street, Poplar Street and back up High Street.
  • Additional trees and a large rain garden to provide environmental and beautifying benefits.
  • Level surface layout (no kerbs or gutters) in two blocks allowing for an informal street and future flexibility in the street layout.

Revitalising High Street

We’re planning to upgrade High Street, from Cashel Street to St Asaph Street. We’re also proposing to extend the route the tram operates on along Lichfield Street, down Poplar Street and back up High Street.

We want to know what you think of our proposed plans for the tram route extension and to revitalise the three High Street blocks.  This diagonal route piercing the city’s grid pattern has been an important gateway to the city since our earliest settlers arrived in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Before the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, High Street had a range of retail outlets from small eclectic shops and cafes to larger, well-established shops nearer Cathedral Square. It remains a key route for those attending Ara Institute and will become an important pedestrian route from City Mall to the multi-use arena off Madras Street.

Flanked by increasing numbers of new and restored buildings, the earthquake-battered road is set to get a makeover. New trees and landscaping, paved footpaths and redefined transport links are planned to add to its special character derived from its historic buildings and corner triangles.  A slow speed zone is proposed to reinforce the street’s special character as a destination.

The transport chapter of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan determined in 2014 that High Street would be a key pedestrian route and provide a link in the southern block between the major cycleways on Tuam Street and St Asaph Street. Generous footpaths allow space for people to move around safely and easily. They provide places where seating, trees and other features can all be included – where people can sit, talk, wait and enjoy the sunshine. For people with disabilities, wider footpaths allow for clear, unimpeded access.

View of the High Street and Manchester Street intersection

View of the High Street and Manchester Street intersection

The upgrade covers three High Street blocks:

  1. Additional upright English oak trees, a red maple and minor street layout changes are proposed on High Street from Cashel to Manchester streets, and Cashel Street from High to Manchester streets. This northern block was upgraded prior to the earthquakes but was damaged by them. We’re also proposing two loading zones, a mobility park, seating and potential outdoor dining opportunities.
  2. A mid-block crossing point on High Street from Manchester Street to Tuam Street and additional landscaping will enhance the streetscape on this two-way section. There are also potential outdoor dining locations. The level surface layout (no kerbs or gutters) on both the mid and southern blocks allows future flexibility on how the street is utilised.  It is proposed that the route the tram will operate on will be extended along Lichfield Street and Poplar Street then loop back up High Street. A heritage-style tram shelter is planned near the Poplar/Tuam intersection.  The new, simplified intersection design at Tuam Street would allow the Council to reduce the number of traffic signals from 19 to six.
  3. The biggest changes are proposed on High Street between Tuam Street and St Asaph Street.  Because of requests for car parking, loading facilities and the cycleway connections, we are recommending a one-way street, north to south. This provides a contraflow painted on-road cycle lane and allows cars to exit onto St Asaph Street as well as Madras Street. Additional trees, a large rain garden, wide footpaths allowing flexible use, and two crossing points are also proposed to enhance the streetscape.

The Council’s project team discussed a variety of street layout options with affected business and property owners. These included extending the tram route into High Street between Tuam Street and St Asaph Street, one-way traffic in each block of High Street and alternative parking arrangements in each block. These can be viewed below.

The project team also discussed concept plans with emergency services, the Blind Foundation and the Central City Transport Liaison Group before presenting its consultation plan. We are now inviting everyone to have their say on proposals for this unique character area.

 

Information sessions

Come talk to us about the High Street project

Thursday 23 May 2019, anytime between noon and 2pm
Epic, corner of Tuam Street and Manchester Street

Thursday 30 May 2019, anytime between noon and 2pm
Breakfree on Cashel, 165 Cashel Street

Entry to the city

Waitaha, Ngati Mamoe and Ngāi Tahu walked though this area as they travelled between settlements, the sea and mountains - long before the first Europeans arrived in the early nineteenth century. 

View of High Street's southern block from Madras Street

View of High Street's southern block from Madras Street

The High Street revitalisation project provides the opportunity to celebrate and incorporate cultural markers and tohu (signs, symbolic representations) representing Ngāi Tūāhuriri hapū sites of significance and associations with travel. These have been reflected in paving, landscaping and sculptural elements elsewhere in the central city. We are working with Matapopere Charitable Trust to identify which elements to include in the High Street project.

Interpretation panels are planned at key sites as part of a separate project.

The three planters that were adjacent to the plaque will be taken away and the area paved. The cabbage trees that were in the planters have already been removed.

In 1849/50 surveyor Edward Jolie placed High Street diagonally on the Christchurch grid, providing access to Sumner, Lyttelton and Ferrymead. A commemorative plaque, referring to the formation of Christchurch streets, will be relocated nearby on the corner of Cashel and High streets.

The plaque states:
Opposite this stone in 1851 Mr J. E. Fitzgerald, Superintendent, Mr R. Packer, and others, commenced the formation of Christchurch streets. They removed the tussocks and filled in the ruts. The Canterbury Pilgrims & Early Settlers Association Inc. 1850 – 1950.

Benefits

Creating a vibrant street

View of the tram extension from Poplar Street to High Street

View of the tram extension from Poplar Street to High Street

Historic buildings and angled street corners already help define High Street. New landscaping and paving as well as sections of widened footpaths are planned to revitalise the three city blocks.  Other options, such as different coloured street lighting, are being considered.

Some of the four distinctive triangles on High Street corners in the project area once included water troughs for horses, and a well.  More recently they have become important recreational spaces, featuring plantings and seating.

The distinctive bronze corgis will remain part of the streetscape, but are proposed to be moved close to the new tram shelter nearby so they do not obstruct the footpath for those who are visually impaired. The wind sculpture Nucleus at the intersection of High and Manchester streets will remain.  However, the licence for Wood for the Trees has expired and this temporary artwork at the corner of High and Tuam streets will be removed. It occupies the site for the proposed tram loop. 

Benefits for pedestrians

With two of the blocks closed or narrowed during post-earthquake building works, High Street currently has an air of informality with pedestrians, cyclists, cars and now e-scooters making their way along the road.

Wider footpaths will cater for an expected increase in pedestrians who will need a more defined pathway when trams also venture up High Street towards Cathedral Square. Latest figures already show that the number of pedestrians at the High Street / Cashel Street corner exceeded 140,000 in March 2019. In the adjacent City Mall, more than 230,000 pedestrians were recorded then. 

View along High Street from Manchester Street

View along High Street from Manchester Street

Mid-block crossing points and signalised pedestrian crossings at main intersections will improve safety.

Pedestrians will also benefit from the proposed reduction in the speed limit in the project area from 30 km/h to 10 km/h, which will help create a slower and more relaxed environment.

Benefits for cyclists

High Street will provide an important link for cyclists travelling to and from the cycleways on Tuam Street and St Asaph Street.

The consultation plan provides space for a contraflow, painted on-road cycleway heading north from St Asaph Street and Madras Street, while cyclists heading south will share the road with motor vehicles. The cycleway will not have concrete separators (dividers).

In the Manchester Street to Tuam Street block, cyclists travelling north will have a painted on-road cycle lane next to the tram rails, otherwise they will share the road with cars and other vehicles travelling at low speeds.

Cycle stands will be provided in each of the three blocks.

Benefits for drivers and motorcyclists

The High Street proposal provides two-way vehicle access in the two northern blocks. Care has been taken to provide parking spaces as well as additional trees and seating to enhance the streetscape.

In the southern block, one-way traffic will allow travellers to once again exit onto St Asaph Street.

On-street parking has been reduced from 94 to 68 spaces in the entire project area in order to provide more space for pedestrians, cyclists and other users, and also enhance the streetscape. This is a drop of 27 per cent. However, ample off-street parking is available nearby at the SALT District car park building (corner of Lichfield and Madras streets), The Crossing car park building (71 Lichfield Street), and the Hereford Street car parking building (158 Hereford Street).

More details about parking for each of the three blocks are included later in this booklet. Most of the on-street parking is P60 to cater for shoppers and business clients. Loading zones, mobility parks and motorcycle parks are also proposed.

Coach stops in loading zones are planned at two locations on the northern block to service hotels there.

Benefits for businesses, shoppers and visitors

View of the Tuam Street intersection from the southern block of High Street

View of the Tuam Street intersection from the southern block of High Street

Businesses and shoppers will benefit from an attractive and vibrant street which is accessible to pedestrians, cyclists, trams, cars, motorcycles and scooters. The additional landscaping, paved footpaths and slower-speed environment, along with the route’s own unique character, will give High Street a point of difference. 

Attractive streetscape

Some of the existing clay and concrete pavers used between Hereford and Cashel streets will be carried through the rest of High Street.

Seating will be benches and seats with back and arm rests. They will be arranged as stand-alone seating and in clusters along High Street.

New cycle stands will be located along the length of the project area.

Additional upright English oak trees (Quercus robur fastigiata) will be planted in sections of High Street. Some removals are proposed to accommodate new buildings and some trees will be replanted due to earthquake-related demolition works.

Shrubs and ground cover plantings in amenity and rain gardens will be a mix of native and exotic species. It is intended to replicate some of the planting themes already used in the East and South Frames.

Lower Speed Limit

A key design aspect of this project is to create a lower-speed environment by reducing the speed limit from 30 km/h to
10 km/h, to improve pedestrian safety and make the area more pedestrian-friendly. The High Street blocks, which form part of this project, are short making it difficult for vehicles to travel at a higher speed. The level surface layout and new design features in the two southern blocks will help moderate the speed of vehicles.

Tram extension

Proposed tram shelter design

Proposed tram shelter design

This project also enables the tram to extend from its current stop at the High Street / Lichfield Street intersection. 

It will travel along Lichfield Street and Poplar Street, before looping back up High Street near the Tuam Street intersection. By providing a loop for the tram, it will be able to use trailer units as the tram will not have to travel in a reverse direction.

The loop option includes buying land once occupied by the High Para Apartments and demolished after the earthquakes. This proposal can only proceed once the required purchase of private land is confirmed.

The tram extension also involves providing poles for overhead wires along Lichfield Street, from High Street to Poplar Street, and the middle block of High Street. (Poles have previously been installed along Poplar Street.) The poles on Lichfield Street will be placed on the edge of the footpath on the north side of the road.

Tram track has previously been laid in Lichfield Street, Poplar Street and part of the mid-block of High Street.

Northern block - Cashel Street to Manchester Street

Northern block

High Street from Cashel Street to Manchester Street and Cashel Street from High Street to Manchester Street

View down High Street from the Cashel Street intersection

View down High Street from the Cashel Street intersection

Three options were considered for this section of High Street which was upgraded before the earthquakes: one-way traffic, two-way traffic with repairs only, and two-way traffic with repairs and minor changes.

The consultation plan provides for two-way traffic, repairs and slight modifications to the existing road layout. In the Cashel Street section the footpath is widened on the south side of the street to 5.5 metres as it will provide pedestrian access to the multi-use arena bounded by Madras, Tuam, Barbadoes and Hereford streets.

Two new raised platforms on the road are proposed to provide crossing opportunities for pedestrians and to help moderate vehicle speeds.

In our consultation plan, the Cashel Street section has 10 P60 parking spaces, two mobility parks (near the entrance to City Mall) and a large loading zone which can accommodate coaches and passenger service vehicles picking up or dropping off people at the adjacent hotel.  There are currently 18 on-street parking spaces.

In the High Street section, 17 P60 parking spaces are proposed, as well as a loading zone near the Manchester Street intersection. At present there are 17 on-street car parks.

Some of the other options for this section can be viewed below.

Mid block - Manchester Street to Tuam Street

Mid block 

High Street from Manchester Street to Tuam Street

View south-east down High Street from Lichfield Street

View south-east down High Street from Lichfield Street

Seven design options were initially considered for the mid-block section of High Street and discussed with key stakeholders. These were: retention of the two-way route, a mall, restricted entry and three variations for one-way traffic flow.

The proposal is to keep this section of High Street as a two-way route, and maintain existing access onto Manchester Street. Northbound vehicles will share the lane with the tram.   

The signalised intersection of High Street / Tuam Street is removed, making the High Street/Tuam Street intersection a priority controlled T-intersection. This means the number of signal poles can be reduced from 19 to six.  A signalised cycle and pedestrian crossing is now proposed in place of the fully signalised intersection.

A new crossing point is proposed for pedestrians and footpaths have been widened in some places.

Southbound cyclists will share the lane with vehicles, however there will be a painted on-road cycle lane adjacent to the kerb and parked cars for northbound cyclists. The decision to provide a northbound cycle lane is to separate the cyclists from the tram lines.

If the loop option for the tram is progressed, a tram shelter is proposed on the bend.  (This proposal is subject to the land purchase being finalised.)

Twelve P60 car parking spaces are proposed, along with motorcycle parking, a mobility park and a loading zone and crossing point.  At present there are 27 parking spaces (if barriers are removed) in the mid-block. Due to the changes at the Tuam Street intersection we are able to add an extra five parking spaces on Tuam Street.

Some of the other options for this section can be viewed below. 

Southern block - Tuam Street to St Asaph Street

Southern block

High Street from Tuam Street to St Asaph Street

View of High Street's southern block from the Tuam Street intersection

View of High Street's southern block from the Tuam Street intersection

Nine concept plans including four options were initially considered and discussed with business and property owners. These were: retention of the two-way route, a mall, restricted entry, or three variations for one-way traffic flow.

Feedback from key stakeholders and technical advice indicated a preference for one-way southbound. This allows for the re-opening of vehicle access onto St Asaph Street.

The intersection of High Street / Tuam Street for the southern block will be changed to a priority controlled T-intersection.

This section of High Street is a key cycle route linking Tuam Street and St Asaph Street, and needs to allow for two-way cycle movements. Southbound cyclists will share the lane with vehicles. To provide for northbound cyclists a contraflow, painted on-road cycle lane has been added.

The footpaths will be widened on both sides of the street, with opportunities for some outdoor dining, seating, cycle stands and additional landscaping, including a large rain garden near the St Asaph Street intersection.

Eleven P60 car parking spaces are provided, along with a mobility park, motorcycle park and loading zone. With the removal of barriers, there are currently 32 on-street parking spaces.

Some of the other options for this section can be viewed below.

High Street revitalisation – previous concepts considered  [PDF, 11 MB]

 

Provisional timeline

14 May-10 June 2019

Consultation

Information sessions
Come talk to us about the High Street project

Thursday 23 May 2019, anytime between
noon and 2pm

Epic, corner of Tuam and Manchester streets

Thursday 30 May 2019, anytime between
noon and 2pm

BreakFree on Cashel, 165 Cashel Street 

Aug-Sept 2019

Hearings and approval

Council elections in October 2019 may impact on this timeframe

Late 2019-early 2020

Detailed design


 

Mid 2020

Construction starts

If the Council approves the scheme design for the High Street revitalisation, construction is expected to start mid 2020.  The programme will be known following discussions with contractors and we will be aiming to minimise the period of construction.

The Council’s project team has discussed the programming of works with local businesses and property owners and will continue to work closely with them during construction to minimise disruption as much as possible.

We will be working with the contractor to maintain access to businesses during the course of the works.